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Month: January 2021

ND8 holds fundraiser at Five Guys

first_imgND8, a student group fighting poverty in the Third World, hoped to lure students away from the dining halls Wednesday and over to Eddy Street to support a fundraising event held at Five Guys. Ten percent of proceeds from sales between 5 p.m. and 10 p.m. benefitted Second Chance, a Toledo, Ohio based organization supporting the victims of domestic sex trafficking. Sophomore Erin Hattler, ND8 co-president, said the organization aims to combat trafficking through advocacy. “Second Chance is a social service program that provides comprehensive services to victims of domestic sex trafficking and prostitution, specializing in women and children,” Hattler said. “It focuses on raising community awareness, and trying to end exploitation through advocacy, securing resources for treatment and training for first responders.” Sophomore John Gibbons, co-president of ND8, said the group chose Second Chance because it directly addresses the challenges that trap victims in the cycle of trafficking. “Often, victims of sex trafficking are likely to go back into sex trafficking because they don’t know what else to do, and there aren’t enough resources devoted to helping them,” Gibbons said. “Second Chance provides a place where they can get away from everything, eventually brining them back to society and something of a normal life.” Bill Purcell, associate director for Catholic Social Tradition and Practice at the Center for Social Concerns, came to eat at Five Guys to support ND8’s efforts. “Our whole family came to support the work against human trafficking, which often gets hidden in today’s society,” Purcell said. “This was a great way to benefit the local community’s economy, to get something to eat and to help the universal problem of human trafficking.” Freshman Erin O’Brien confessed to having dual motives for eating dinner at Five Guys. “It’s for a good cause and a good excuse to go get great food off campus,” she said. Hesburgh Library librarian Elizabeth Van Jacob brought her daughter Jemma to Five Guys in support of the event. Jemma, a student at John Adams High School, said she was glad to see the issue being addressed. “While studying through home schooling a few years ago, I read about this issue,” Jemma Van Jacob said. “It’s good to act locally to tackle this issue.” Elizabeth Van Jacob said the gravity of the problem demands attention. “I can’t believe that this issue is still going on and that it’s going on in the United States,” Elizabeth said. “This affects a lot of adolescent girls and boys, and we are completely opposed to this sort of violence.”last_img read more


Notre Dame decks the halls for Christmas

first_imgWith lights lining the dining halls, Christmas music blasting out of windows and wreaths dotting the doors of buildings campus-wide, the only thing keeping Notre Dame from being a winter wonderland is the conspicuous lack of snow, though students are still decking the halls. McGlinn and O’Neill Halls put up large wreaths the week before Thanksgiving break. According to McGlinn rector Sister Mary Lynch, the wreath is a beloved tradition. “Our shamrock wreath was made by one of the McGlinn residents a few years ago,” Lynch said. “She made it with wire, and we had the maintenance shop back it with metal and hang it up each year since.” The wreaths, shaped like the McGlinn shamrock and the O’Neill “O,” are not necessarily Christmas themed, but Lynch finds them seasonally significant nonetheless. “We thought about keeping them up all year, but then it would lose its wintertime effect,” she said. Not content to have decorations exclusively outdoors, freshmen roommates Maggie Lawrence and Rachel Miceli of McGlinn Hall decorated their room on the first day back from Thanksgiving break. “We have Christmas lights up, gingerbread men across the window and paper chains in Christmas-inspired colors zigzagging across the ceiling,” Lawrence said. “Our entire section decorated, so there are giant paper snowflakes and ornaments dangling in the hallways,” Miceli said. “There are bells on the doorknob and giant red bows on the door too.” According to the maintenance office, trees have been set up in Bond Hall, O’Shaughnessy Hall, the Jordan Hall of Science, the Hesburgh Center, the Basilica, the Eck Visitor’s Center, the Main Building and the Stepan Hall of Chemistry. The individual departments purchase the ornaments and decorations, and maintenance teams have been working to set up the arrangements according to the departments’ instructions. Employees decorated the dining halls, and many hall council members oversaw the decorations for their respective dorms. Notable decorations beyond the wreaths on McGlinn and O’Neill Halls include the “Have a Phoxy Christmas” banner outside Pangborn Hall and the cutouts of Santa and Mrs. Claus in the lobby of Walsh Hall. Other campus traditions include Carroll Christmas, an annual Christmas party put on by the men of Carroll Hall, complete with a tree-lighting, a Glee Club performance and refreshments. Another major event is the Dillon Hall Light Show on South Quad, which begins with a performance Sunday at 7 p.m., another show at 9 p.m. and continued performances throughout the week. According to senior Thomas Catanach, one of the organizers, about 6,000 LED lights are used to create the show. “Basically, we have a bunch of strands of Christmas lights suspended from the building and divided into different sectors,” Catanach said. “The sectors are choreographed to Christmas songs, and it’s all coordinated by computer.” Although impending finals can add great stress to the last few weeks of the semester, many students said they refuse to let them put a damper on their holiday joy. “We make up for the sadness and stress that finals bring by decorating and celebrating Christmas,” Miceli said.last_img read more


Voices of Faith choir sings a song of community

first_imgMusic, community, fellowship and faith are four words that immediately come to the minds of Voices of Faith gospel choir members when asked why they enjoy spending time together. “We’re more than just a choir. It really is a community,” junior Nicole Campion said. “Yes, we practice singing, but it is also a time of faith and fellowship.” Director Eugene Staples, a senior and four-year member of Voices of Faith, invoked the group’s motto when discussing its communal and spiritual atmosphere, his favorite aspect of the choir. “We are a student-run, faith-based choir,” Staples said. “Singing is my favorite part, but it’s definitely not more important than the fellowship and community. I really enjoy the group’s union of singing with doing something good for our Christian faith.” Senior Amanda Meza echoed Staples’ remarks when asked about her favorite part of participating in the choir. “The fellowship you develop would have to be my favorite part. It’s more than just singing,” Meza said. “We grow together in our faith, and this is something I really cherish and wouldn’t change.” Voices of Faith, a choir marked by cultural, religious and ethnic diversity, provides a home for those searching for alternative ways to grow in their spirituality outside of an exclusively Catholic context. “We provide a home for those who feel alienated,” Staples said. “I come from a Baptist church, and I still feel alienated by some of the Catholic structures. Voices of Faith really is a home away from home for those who don’t understand the Catholic traditions.” Meza, also a member of the Baptist Church, wanted to continue singing and focusing on her spirituality as she had at home. She said she quickly discovered Voices of Faith during her freshman year. “I’m not Catholic, but I wanted to sing Christian music,” she said. “I went to the concerts my freshman year, and they were extremely moving with their incorporation of Bible passages and prayers. I was looking for the Christian identity at the core of the Catholic identity. I was looking for something like home, and I found it with Voices of Faith.” While the music initially grabbed Campion’s attention, she said the community’s diversity is one of the most rewarding parts of participating in the group. “I really like having the opportunity to be friends with such a diverse group of individuals, especially considering Notre Dame’s relative lack of diversity,” Campion said. “I sometimes get bored with the mainstream culture, so the diversity at Voices of Faith almost represents a different culture to me.” While diversity has always characterized Voices of Faith, Staples, Campion and Meza all remarked on how this year’s group has brought religious, ethnic and cultural diversity to another level. “This is our most diverse year ever,” Staples said. “We are so much bigger and so much better. I guess we’ve done great marketing through our performances.” Campion said the group’s constant clapping and cheering during performances often surprises people, but ultimately leads to an enjoyable experience. “Energy is one of the hallmarks of our music,” Campion said. Voices of Faith will host its winter concert this Saturday at 7:30 p.m. in Washington Hall. Student tickets are $5.last_img read more


A fresh look’

first_imgEditor’s Note: This story is the first installment in a two-part series on Jenkins’ voice in these ongoing conversations in the Notre Dame community. This series is also the first of three similar “From the Office of the President” series on the Notre Dame presidency to appear in coming weeks. God. Country. Notre Dame. For students here, those three words are a mantra, a proud refrain. For University President Fr. John Jenkins, those three words are his entire life. “As president of Notre Dame, I live in three worlds,” Jenkins said. “One is the world of higher education, one is the world of Catholicism and religion and the other is the world of our nation, the United States of America.” The upcoming year will be an especially poignant cross of those three worlds for Jenkins, who began his presidency in 2005. The University, as one of the premier Catholic colleges in the nation, is challenging the contraception mandate in the Affordable Care Act as an overstep of the government’s rights against religious organizations. The beginning of the school year will be followed within months by a presidential election, as well as state and local elections around the nation. 2013 will see the implementation of a new strategic plan for the University, and administrators and students continue to discuss the ways in which the school will – and will not -address sexual orientation in its policies and ideals. In an interview with The Observer to begin the 2012-13 school year, Jenkins addressed these issues and others in depth. As the leader in many conversations that will define this upcoming year, his words were soft-spoken but sincere. “Any issue that’s controversial in the Catholic world or in the university world becomes more prominent at Notre Dame,” Jenkins said. “I believe that if we don’t have controversies at a university, [we’re] failing. Universities are about vigorous discussion of important issues.” One issue under heated debate among students and administrators in the past year has been the issue of sexual orientation at Notre Dame. Following public requests from students and faculty asking the University to improve inclusion of its lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) community, the school announced last spring it would not add sexual orientation to its non-discrimination clause. “At Notre Dame, we do not discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation,” Jenkins said. “That’s a fundamental thing, but that’s not the only thing. The Spirit of Inclusion, which was approved by the Board of Fellows, higher than me, the highest level of the University, says that not only don’t we discriminate, but we want to be a place, an environment, where people feel – of same-sex orientation, anything else – feel respected, supported, fully involved in this community.” The clause primarily addresses discrimination against prospective students and employees in areas such as admissions, employment, scholarships and athletics. The current clause states the University “does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national or ethnic origin, sex, disability, veteran status or age.” What the University includes in the non-discrimination clause are “all and only” those categories required by federal law, Jenkins said. Other schools that include sexual orientation in a similar policy usually do so because they are required by state or local ordinance. “If Notre Dame voluntarily took this on, our fear is that it would be seen as a broader and stronger commitment with regard to same-sex orientation that may undermine our ability to live in accordance with the Catholic teaching because we distinguish between orientation and action,” Jenkins said. As a prominent Catholic university, Notre Dame could also become the target of high-publicity lawsuits related to the clause, Jenkins said. “I don’t believe that step [of including sexual orientation in the non-discrimination clause] would achieve the goal of creating an environment of welcome, of support,” Jenkins said. “I fear that it would tend to be divisive. So I am absolutely committed to try to create that environment, but I think there are other ways to do that.” Jenkins said the community has made progress in past years by embracing the Spirit of Inclusion, which states Notre Dame welcomes its LGBTQ community and seeks to create an environment in which “none are strangers and all may flourish.” The University has also established the Core Council for Gay, Lesbian and Bisexual Students, a group of administrators and students that advises the Vice President for Student Affairs on LGBTQ needs. “The non-discrimination clause, I know that’s an issue that people are quite concerned about,” Jenkins said. “But I don’t believe that will achieve the end that is most important.” Instead, Jenkins also emphasized the University’s discriminatory harassment policy, which is designed to protect current students and employees from discrimination and harassment for any reason. “In our academic articles for faculty for promotion and tenure, there’s a clause in there about the unacceptability of bias that includes same-sex orientation or any other quality where people feel they’ve received bias,” he said. “And just I want to say as president, we don’t tolerate discrimination. If people feel they are discriminated against, use the hotline. Go to the appropriate authority. Let us know, and we’ll address it.” Developing a welcoming culture on campus needs to go beyond the administrative level, Jenkins said. “I think so much of this is about climate, and it’s not what I’m, what the president, is doing in his office,” Jenkins said. “It’s about what all of us are doing on campus. I think that’s extremely important, and that’s something we work on with hall staff, that’s something we work on with our Student Affairs personnel. … We just have to keep working on it.” The Office of Student Affairs and its newly-appointed Vice President Erin Hoffman Harding are currently reviewing a proposal to create an official gay-straight alliance (GSA) at Notre Dame. AllianceND, currently campus’s unofficial GSA, applied for official club status in February. “Are there better structures to achieve our ends?” Jenkins said. “I think it’s time for a fresh look.” Tomorrow: Jenkins on the University’s lawsuit against the Department of Health and Human Services, the upcoming presidential election and more.last_img read more


Website fosters faith

first_imgThe Notre Dame Alumni Association launched a new website, FaithND, to extend the University’s spiritual resources beyond campus in an effort to fill a void for religious guidance online. Spirituality program director Angie Appleby Purcell said the site is available to people of all faith traditions interested in exploring Catholicism, even if they are not affiliated with the University. “As a Catholic university steeped in rich tradition, with wonderful resources of faculty, staff, students and alumni trying to live the University’s mission in terms of how to be a people of faith, a Catholic community into the world, we want to be able to provide good quality resources and enrichment for the spiritual and faith journey that we all are on,” Purcell said. FaithND offers a variety of informative services, such as video reflections on liturgical seasons and scripture passages, online courses and opportunities to ask questions about the Catholic faith, Purcell said. One of the best ways to stay engaged with one’s faith is to sign up for the daily email newsletter that includes the day’s Gospel reading, a written reflection on it, a short prayer and a profile of a saint, she said. “[Every morning] I grab my iPhone on the side of my bed, and I read the reflection and the prayer and the saint of the day, and many people start their day with that first step,” Purcell said. More than 9,000 people have signed up for the daily email subscription thus far, Purcell said. Another important feature of the website is the ability to submit prayer requests at the Grotto, a service that existed even before FaithND but is now streamlined. The Alumni Association received more than 24,000 of these requests last year, Purcell said, and they still manage to light a candle for every one. “The Grotto is a significant part of the spiritual imagination of people who are formed here,” she said “They can’t be there in that sacred space, but they certainly can allow us who are here on campus to pray on their behalf.” While most of these services fall under the sphere of prayer, the FaithND website includes three other sections: “Live,” “Serve” and “Explore.” The “Live” section provides monthly themes for reflection on how to live a life of faith, Purcell said. “This month, because we’re very mindful of November being All Saints [Day] and remembering holy people in our lives, we’re focusing on the call to holiness, not from the standpoint of ‘I have to be a Mother Teresa,’ but, ‘In my daily life, how am I called and how can I make decisions based on how to be a better, more holy person?’” she said. The “Serve” section focuses on ways to give back to the community of faith, Purcell said. “[It] talks about how through our faith we are called to service through Catholic Social Tradition, what does that look like, how are we at Notre Dame forming leaders for the Church?” she said. The “Explore” section addresses the intellectual aspects of faith, Purcell said, and it strives to answer the questions, “How do we explore the Catholic intellectual side of what we offer on campus, and how can that inform us as we move forward in life?” Purcell said FaithND was developed after months of research on the spiritual desires of the Notre Dame community, especially those of young alumni. “This came about ultimately from our constituency, our larger Notre Dame family, internally and externally, as to where Notre Dame could help them in continuing to grow in faith,” she said. “It was really a mandate from our constituency and our Notre Dame family.” Those interested in exploring the resources available though FaithND can visit faith.nd.edu Contact Tori Roeck at [email protected]last_img read more


Professor evaluates influenza vaccine

first_imgVaccines are arguably one of the most important lines of defense against the spread of influenza, a common seasonal virus that can have uncommonly nasty effects in elderly individuals with compromised immune systems. Contrary to conventional wisdom, however, a recent study by assistant professor of biological science Benjamin Ridenhour found that in a comprehensive analysis of people ages 65 and over, the influenza vaccine was only about 20 percent effective, underscoring the need for better flu vaccines. Previous studies by researchers in the field focused on different age groups for determining the effectiveness of the influenza vaccine, and extrapolation led to an overstatement of the usefulness of the annual influenza vaccines in the elderly population, Ridenhour said. Individuals from this age group account for most of the roughly 25,000 people who die each year from influenza in the United States alone, Ridenhour said. “Normally the influenza vaccine – going with what the party line is – is about 60 percent effective, which is not great but definitely better than nothing,” Ridenhour said. “One of the big issues there is that this 60 percent number has come from studies of people that are between the ages of 20 and 65, and less than five. “So there are two age groups that we haven’t done a lot of studies on: one of those age groups is the elderly, 65 and over, and the other is the intermediate five to 18 year-old age group. There’s more concern for the elderly group because these are the people that die from flu.” Ridenhour’s novel findings hinged on access to a comprehensive, centralized database of health records from Ontario, Canada that also recorded all vaccinations received by individuals, he said, unlike the largely undocumented vaccination process in the United States.   “It turned out that going to Ontario was great because we had data as far back as 1993, so we had approximately 15 years of data that we looked at,” he said. “It encompassed all the elderly individuals in Ontario, so that’s a really nice facet of the study – you don’t have to worry about selecting a special sub-population, we got everybody.” Ridenhour said the low level of flu vaccine success in the elderly population that emerged from the data demonstrates how urgently improvement in the vaccine is needed. Part of his current research efforts focuses on strategies for developing a vaccine that would protect against the actual strain of influenza confronted by population, instead of an across-the-board estimated strain. “There are ways that you can predict the future and improve vaccine effectiveness,” he said. “Part of it has to do with where you pick your vaccine strains from because of the way flu circulates around the globe. If you pick your vaccine strains from different places they represent different snapshots in time, so if you pick from the right places you can predict what it will be the next time. “Doing that, you can actually come up with some of these strategies where you can produce two to three alternative vaccines that have multiple strains in them and you can produce higher vaccine effectiveness in the population as a whole by doing that.” Aside from researching development strategies for an improved vaccine, Ridenhour’s next step will be to investigate the environmental factors that play a key role in the spread of influenza, he said. “Right now our focus is going to stay in Canada, and we’re going to try and take the data we have and look at other factors that might be causing illness,” he said. “The effects of the environment are much less studied. It’s hard at the basic level to figure out how effective a vaccine is. Adding in other complicated factors, such as environmental ones, makes it even more difficult. But we have this great data set that we can actually do this with.” In the meantime, the best way to improve the effectiveness of the influenza vaccine is to improve coverage and have more people vaccinated, Ridenhour said. Typically only 30 to 40 percent of Americans go out and get vaccinated each year, which allows the flu to circulate more freely in the population. “Despite low effectiveness numbers, everybody should definitely go out and get vaccinated,” Ridenhour said.last_img read more


Africana Studies bulletin board vandalized

first_imgAn Africana Studies department bulletin board displaying quotes by political commentator Ann Coulter was defaced with red paint over Easter weekend.University spokesman Dennis Brown said Notre Dame Security Police (NDSP) was investigating the incident as an act of vandalism.The bulletin board, which remains outside the office on the third floor of O’Shaughnessey Hall, contains several of Coulter’s comments on issues such as race, gender and religion, displayed under the heading “Freedom of Speech, Freedom to Hate: There is a difference.” Gayle Wilson, the administrative assistant and office coordinator for the Africana Studies department, said an unknown person painted messages responding to specific pieces of the board and painting messages such as “What exactly is PC?” and “Don’t be bullied by the ‘Happy Police.’” Wilson said the board, which two student office employees made, was put up the day before Coulter’s April 10 talk. She said the defacement occurred by the time a coworker walked by the display April 21. Wilson learned of the vandalism the following day and called NDSP. In a statement to The Observer, Rev. Hugh Page, chair of the Africana Studies department, said he was “deeply saddened” by the incident. “Such action is clearly inconsistent with the values we espouse as a community of faith and learning,” he said. “I want to congratulate the students and staff whose creative energies are reflected in the board, which seeks to raise awareness. … Their work is resonant with a long and honored tradition of social engagement among Africana artists.”  Emily McConville | The Observer The Africana Studies bulletin board, which was vandalized over Easter weekend, will remain on display until the end of the year.Africana Studies Club president Alex Rice said she was disappointed with the perpetrator’s unwillingness to participate in reasoned dialogue about the issues the bulletin board raised. “I wasn’t angry, I would say. I was more disappointed than anything because the Africana Studies department really prides itself on trying to start dialogue,” Rice said. “What happened — an obvious act of vandalism — it wasn’t trying to start dialogue or hear the other side. “It was really, we don’t agree with you; we’re going to say so in a very disrespectful manner.” Alex Coccia, student body president emeritus and Africana Studies major, said the discipline is “an inherently socially and politically active experience.”“Given this reality within Africana Studies, it is unfortunate that the display was vandalized,” he said. “We have to be willing to see the world as it was, because our current environment is a product of that world. We cannot ignore these facts when we engage in discussions about rhetoric and how it utilizes historically volatile connotations.“Speaking more loudly than other voices, the verbal equivalent of painting over the Africana Studies display, does nothing to further constructive dialogue,” Coccia said. “There is nothing wrong with engaging in a heated debate, in fact, heated debates are more powerful than cold, calculated analytics, because they evoke the passions of a community. … But even in disagreement, we cannot disparage or disrespect.” Rice said the incident was a topic at this month’s Finally Friday, a monthly discussion series hosted by the Africana Studies Club.She said the group, which included students and faculty, discussed ways to improve the quality of dialogue about race and speech on campus and increase the amount of discussions with people on multiple sides of an issue. She said the consensus among the attendees was that the board should remain on display until the end of the year.  Tags: Africana Studies, Ann Coulter, Free speech, vandalismlast_img read more


Fan dies at basketball game

first_imgA fan at the Notre Dame men’s basketball game against Lewis University died Friday night after suffering “an apparent heart attack” around 6:30 p.m., according to University spokesman Dennis Brown.“Emergency personnel who were on site for the game responded immediately but were unable to revive him,” Brown stated. “In deference to the family’s privacy, Notre Dame will not release any additional information.”Tags: basketball, fan, Notre Damelast_img


Saint Mary’s dining hall introduces new composting initiative

first_imgSaint Mary’s students may have noticed new yellow bins next to the tray return area in the dining hall. These bins are part of a new composting initiative that encourages students to dump their biodegradable waste in them so it can be composted rather than thrown in the trash.Senior and composting coordinator Katie Frego said this is not the first time composting has been tried on campus.“We have had composting in the past, but very [briefly],” she said. “Someone had made a compost bin last year, but the bin filled up so fast and there was nowhere else to put the compost.”When the College purchased an acre of farmland from the Sisters of the Holy Cross this past spring, however, Frego said she saw an opportunity to bring back composting.“That was the turning point for composting to truly begin,” she said. “Because we finally had an area where we could dump the compost and not have to worry about running out of space or the smell or anything like that.”The composting initiative is student driven. Sodexo, the College’s dining service, just gives the space for the composting bins, general manager of dining services Ken Acosta said.“We promote it and say let’s go, let’s do it as long as it is student-driven,” he said.Frego said she became involved with the project because of her passion for sustainability and her connections across campus.“I’ve always been very passionate about the environment, and I’ve been working in the dining hall since freshman year,” she said. “And through that, I’ve been able to see the amount of waste that is generated by the dining hall just in one day. As a biology major, having connections with professors in the biology department and also knowing the managers in the dining hall, it was no brainer for me. I hate seeing all this waste that could be composted and used for making new soil just thrown in the trash.”Frego believes that composting is important so that Earth is preserved for future generations, she said.“It is beneficial because we know that climate change does exist, our responsibility as students in college nowadays — and especially living in a country like the United States where we are so thankful for the blessings it gives us — that I think it is our responsibility to do our part in helping the Earth and making it more sustainable for future generations,” she said. “We are able to enjoy the beauty of this Earth, but if we don’t respect it and take care it, then generations down the road may not have the same opportunity that we do.”The composting system has only been implemented for a couple of weeks, but Frego said the results so far have been great.“In the first week we saved over 500 pounds of waste,” she said. “After the second week we were over 500 pounds again. The student body has been really receptive to it. Everyone has been really impressed with how smooth this process is going so far.”Even with the great results, however, there still have been some challenges in educating the student body, Frego said.“The toughest challenge is still educating the students on what can be thrown in the bins and what can’t be thrown in the bins,” she said. “Even spreading awareness that composting is now happening on [the] Saint Mary’s campus. The toughest challenge is how to communicate to the students that we are composting and this is a daily thing that will be happening for the rest of the year.” Ultimately, Frego just wants to get the message across that the small action of composting can have an impact.“I really want to get this message across to Saint Mary’s students that throwing away those three watermelon rinds that you would have put in the trash really, actually, truly makes a difference,” she said.Tags: composting, dining, Saint Mary’s dining hall, sustainabilitylast_img read more


Corcoran, Ogden elected as leaders of Saint Mary’s Student Government

first_imgSaint Mary’s Student Government Association (SGA) announced the incoming student body president and vice president, juniors Madeleine Corcoran and Kathy Ogden, on Friday afternoon. Chris Collins Juniors Madeleine Corcoran, left, and Kathy Ogden, right, were elected student body president and vice president, respectively, for Saint Mary’s on Friday.Corcoran said her election is especially significant to her because she was chosen by the students to be their representative. “It’s such a special role and such an honor and humbling role just to be chosen by the Saint Mary’s student body to represent them and be their voice,” Corcoran said. “So I think to me it just means so much respect for who we try to be as people and continue to be.”During the campaign, Ogden said she felt that whether or not she was elected, it was important that the College selected leaders that reflected what they desired. “If we weren’t to be elected, my overall thought would’ve been, ‘Well, that’s not what the students want, and we are a representation of the school so if that’s the case then okay,’” Ogden said. “But now it’s cool that since we are elected the student body do want us as their role models. So it’s an honor that we were elected by the student body to be their representatives.”Ogden said she felt the election experience was positive for her because the other candidates were all supportive of each other, she said. “[The other candidates] have just been really friendly and nice and they also campaigned really well,” Ogden said. “Everything was very civil. I just feel like this [election] has been really friendly and supportive.” Corcoran said the fact that the campaign went over smoothly speaks to the community at Saint Mary’s. “I think the campaign overall represents kind of what Saint Mary’s stands for and just that friendly environment that it is,” Corcoran said. “It really encompasses that students are kind and working together.”The pair hopes to emphasize the importance of community, Corcoran said. “The community topic in general is something I am really passionate about, and think is really important at Saint Mary’s,” Corcoran said. The pair said they hope by the end of their term, they will leave Saint Mary’s ‘enhanced’ from years before.“Saint Mary’s is already I think such a wonderful place but from our platform, and just being leaders, I think just making it even better than how it is now,” Ogden said. Corcoran said she hopes to improve upon some of the common complaints by students over the course of the next year. “There is always going to be something to complain about, but a lot of those things that students commonly complain about now, hopefully in a year from now they won’t be,” Corcoran said. Ogden’s time at Saint Mary’s was what gave her the confidence to take on this new role, she said. “I feel like Saint Mary’s has just knocked me out of my shell,” Ogden said. “Not that I was super introverted in high school, but I think I just wouldn’t do a lot of the things that I have done here and I have become more confident so I think that helps. I just have been here for three years but I think with the friends I’ve made and the clubs I’ve been in and my relationships with professors I’ve been able to become more confident and more involved.”Corcoran said she also feels Saint Mary’s provided her the opportunities to develop her passion. “Every time I take on a new role I just fall in love more with Saint Mary’s and what Saint Mary’s has for all of its students, and I think that is such a unique experience that you get at a smaller school,” Corcoran said. Corcoran went into the week hoping just to enjoy the experience, regardless of the result, she said. “I said to Kathy — Sunday, when we went out at midnight to put up the posters — I said, ‘You know what, regardless of how this week goes, as long as we are smiling and laughing throughout the whole thing that’s what’s most important,’” Corcoran said. “Because if you don’t smile and enjoy those moments, it wouldn’t have mattered whatever the outcome was it would’ve been not worth it.”Although the week involved a lot of work, Ogden said she enjoyed being able to communicate with students about their desires as well as her platform. “I thought it was fun,” Ogden said. “It was a lot, but it was fun. Each thing we made and each thing we hung up I think we were really proud of.”The two said they feel the campaign process was a way to get a feel for what the students are looking for during the next year, Corcoran said. “That’s what our goal is, to try and be really open and listen to students and what they need,” Corcoran said. “I think just even the campaigning process we learned more about what students need or want.” Tags: elections, saint mary’s, Student governmentlast_img read more